Resilience was the word of 2015 amongst the oil and gas sector. It’s been hard to stay positive, stay focused and to consider growing the business when it’s felt for many like a daily battle of challenges and stresses. So how as leaders do we work to continue to grow our businesses when everything around us seems so problematic.
Russia’s government plans to spend $275million as it looks to support its car industry in the first half of 2016. Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said the government was looking to extend measures in place since car sales were hit by a sharp drop in the rouble and an economic slowdown.
Eni and its partner Kogas have had a proposal for a two-year extension for exploration of hydrocarbons in Cyprus’ economic zone approved.
The Scottish Government said the renewables industry has helped to put £10million back into the Scottish community following a record year. Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said there were now more than 150 projects on the community renewables register with millions of pounds paid out to communities from renewables developments. Meanwhile a target for community or local ownership of renewables was met five years early, with 508MW of capacity now operational.
Norwegian oil explorer North Energy said it was looking at all options in a bid to boost shareholder value, which could include mergers and asset sales. The company reported a wide quarterly loss as low oil prices continue to hurt companies. The firm said it was on track to complete a restructuring which was started at the end of last year as the company looked to adapt to tougher marker conditions.
Offshore catering workers are mulling a fresh offer from their bosses as well as unions’ advice that they accept it to settle a pay dispute which had threatened to boil over into a strike. The Unite union said yesterday it welcomed revised terms from Catering Offshore Trade Association (Cota) employers, and put plans for industrial action on hold. Cota chairman Peter Bruce said: “At our meeting with representatives of Unite and RMT last week, we discussed a solution which we are hopeful will lead to the resolution of this dispute.
An ailing oil and gas industry has forced experts to lower their expectations for economic growth across the whole of Scotland during 2015. Brian Ashcroft, emeritus professor of economics at Strathclyde University said yesterday the downturn offshore was stifling onshore service businesses throughout the country. He was speaking after the university’s Fraser of Allander Institute – an economic think-tank – delivered its latest commentary on the state of Scotland’s finances.
Anadarko Petroleum has created a position to lead the global LNG side of its business. Mitchell Ingram will become executive vice president after approval from the board of directors. Ingram brings with him 28 years of experience in the oil and gas industry.
BHP Billiton Ltd. is snapping up oil- exploration prospects from the US to Australia and flagged this week that it’s seeking to make more similar investments. There’s speculation it’ll also target deals for operating wells and mines. With signs the commodity rout may be bottoming, conventional petroleum and copper assets are probably of most interest to the world’s biggest miner, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. and Fat Prophets. BHP Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mackenzie said in August the company would look at the possibility of acquisitions, though wouldn’t overpay and would only consider the best assets. Mining companies with strong balance sheets, including BHP, which sold about $6.5 billion of hybrid securities last week, should scrap their dividend policies to help seize on cheap high-quality assets, according to Jefferies Group LLC analysts. The average premium on pending and completed deals worth at least $500 million in the mining and oil and gas sectors has fallen to 30 percent this year from 47 percent in 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The "reality" of a potential strike in the North Sea industry is now hitting companies, according to a top industrial relations expert.
Petrolia said it has obtained a completion permit which will allow it to carry out the cleaning of the well at Haldimand 4 in Quebec and start a long-term production test. The company have already removed the pump installed last year in order to prepare the well for the cleaning operations.
Scotland has the potential to lead the world in smart integrated energy systems, according to a new report. The Carbon Trust said it has outlined a vision for the country to harness its natural resources and technology innovation capabilities. It said developing a fully integrated energy system would help Scotland meet its carbon emissions targets, create jobs and secure an international leadership position in smart grid technology.
A KPMG audit of UK oil and gas industry contracts has revealed widespread overbilling at the same time as firms are trying to slash costs. The professional services firm said 70% of the 10,000 deals it looked at were not properly complied with, leading to regular overcharging. KPMG put the cost of unnecessary spending at between 1% and 5% of “high-risk” investments, meaning a significant level of unnecessary spending on a supply chain worth up to £35billion a year.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said it had received applications from 43 countries at the application deadline for awards in predefined areas (APAS) on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). The number is around the same time as last year with interest being greatest in the Norwegian Sea as well as the Barents Sea. Sissel Eriksen, director of Exploration at the NPD, said: "We are pleased to see that so many companies have confidence in the APA-areas.
The North Sea oil and gas industry was warned not to “waste a crisis” as consultants urged firms to adopt cost cutting measures. Risk management from DNV GL expects that the region’s oul and gas industry won’t be “trending positive” again until 2017, while demand for rigs won’t do so until 2018. Nevertheless, DNV GL’s Liv Hovam, director of divisional Europe and Africa, oil & gas, underlined a number of projects the consultancy firm has been undertaking which can save tens of millions of costs for firms in the North Sea -a basin which has experienced the highest cost inflation in the world in recent years.
Oil and gas industry leaders were last night given a rallying call as the countdown started in earnest to the biggest social event in the sector’s calendar. Sponsors of this year’s Press and Journal Energy Ball – which is being staged in association with CHC Helicopter – were invited to a “warm-up” soiree in Aberdeen as a thank you for pledging their support for the glittering black-tie event next month. Press and Journal editor-in-chief Damian Bates told his guests there was no denying the industry and workers were facing challenges.
Sir Ian Wood said there had been a step change in focus by the North Sea oil and gas industry in how to persevere through the current downturn. Speaking to Energy Voice following its Energy 2050 – Securing Our Future event at the Tivoli in Aberdeen he said it was clear the industry was “now prepared to give proper though about how it solves its problems”. He was one of a panel of experts who discussed the findings of a survey of 450 sector leaders, which was commissioned by Energy Voice.
Energy Voice has launched an event aimed at ensuring the next generation of industry innovators don’t get lost in translation amid a market downturn. One of the first ports of call should be looking at what companies are spending and where they’re spending it during a crunch. The last economic recession in 2009 led to the slashing of budgets allocated for workplace training within companies. A survey undertaken at the time found that in the private and public sector, 33% and 34% of respondents reported reduced training funding.
As oil minister during military rule in the 1970s, Muhammadu Buhari oversaw the birth of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. Now, as democratically elected president, he intends to break up the opaque bureaucracy, which manages the oil assets of Africa’s biggest crude producer, to ensure taxpayers get their fair share. History isn’t on his side. “No Nigerian leader, including Buhari himself from the 1980s, has managed to sanitize the oil sector,” said Philippe de Pontet, head of the Africa practice at the Eurasia Group in New York. “Buhari’s challenge is not only to depoliticize NNPC but to disentangle its vested interests and its rogue commercial operations, which won’t be easy.”
More industry leaders have come forward in support of an event aimed at ensuring the next generation of industry innovators move into the oil and gas sector. Earlier this week it was revealed industry giant Sir Ian Wood would be joining an Energy Voice panel next month alongside Offshore Europe co-chairman Michael Engell-Jensen and Derek Leith, office managing partner at EY Aberdeen and the firm’s UK head of oil and gas taxation. The move has been backed by the likes of UK Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom and Deirdre Michie. The managing director at Craig Group, Douglas Craig, said it was imperative that more young people understood the significance of the energy industry.
Truck driver Craig Huzulak is unemployed after losing his job four times since December -- the new normal in a Canadian oil patch still reeling from a downturn. Huzulak, 49, was working at a mine last year near Fort McMurray, Alberta, when crude prices plunged and work dried up. He lost two more positions in the following months and then had a job offer yanked at the end of June before he could even start. In addition to the market rout, the father of two now worries about the self-driving trucks Suncor Energy Inc. is rolling out in its oil-sands mining operations that will replace workers like him to save companies money. “It’s really, really hard for heavy-equipment operators,” said Huzulak, who has driven trucks and worked on drilling rigs in Western Canada for 15 years. “There’s a lot more fear now that this might last longer.”
Australia’s oil and gas industry body APPEA has called on an inquiry into unconventional gas in the state of Victoria to support ‘sensible policies’. The move comes after a fracking moratorium was introduced in the region three years ago. The APPEA claims the state is the only in Australia to ban new investment in developing its onshore gas resources.
A report from the IMF (International Monetary Fund) has found oil prices have rebounded more than expected, after falling by more than half a year ago. The findings were revealed in the latest World Economic Outlook which said the rise in the price of oil reflected higher demand and expectations that oil production growth in the US would slow faster than previously forecast. It predicted the average price of oil to be $59 per barrel over the year.
Scottish oil and gas explorer Parkmead Group plans to muscle in on the sector’s growing mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market using the proceeds of a share placing. Energy companies have been left scrambling to consolidate through asset sales and buy-outs since the oil price collapsed in the second half of 2014, with recent deals including a £47billion “mega-merger” between Shell and BG Group. Parkmead, led north-east businessman Tom Cross, has rapidly beefed up its portfolio in the UK and Netherlands in recent times and is keen to “take advantage of the current M&A environment in the oil and gas sector.”
A vast majority of north-east firms are either already suffering a negative impact from lower oil prices or expect it soon, a survey has revealed. Companies across the region were canvassed for the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC) North East Business Week (NEBW) study, and the scale of fallout from the oil and gas industry downturn is among the findings. AGCC’s research unit carried out the research on behalf of the chamber and its NEBW partners – Elevator, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry.